Iran’s annual oil revenues exceed $65.8b: CBI

April 8, 2019

TEHRAN – According to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI)’s latest data, Iran’s revenues from crude oil and oil products exports in the Iranian calendar year of 1396 (March 2017 - March 2018) stood at $65.818 billion.

The country’s oil sales were reported to be $55.757 billion and $31.847 billion in the previous two years, respectively and the collected revenues in 1396 were more than what was estimated by the oil ministry.

In February 2017, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that considering oil prices at $55 per barrels, the country’s revenues from oil and gas condensate exports will reach $45-$50 billion in the Iranian calendar year of 1396.

The increases in oil prices and the removal of the U.S. sanctions were reported to be the main drivers of this jump in the country’s oil revenues in the mentioned time span.

The CBI report comes at the time that currently no official data has been released regarding the last Iranian calendar year’s (March 2018- March 2019) oil incomes.

In December 2018, Tasnim reported that to counter U.S. sanctions and limits on petroleum sales, Iran’s Planning and Budget Organization (PBO) reduced the current year’s budget reliance on oil revenues to 27 percent and set average oil prices at $54 a barrel, with an estimated sale of 1.5 million barrels per day.

In the $405-billion national budget bill for the current Iranian calendar year 1398 (March 2019 – March 2020), which was presented to the Majlis by President Hassan Rouhani in December 2018, the estimated oil incomes stood at 1.425 quadrillion rials (about $34 billion).

There are many speculations about the realization of the oil income estimations in the budget bill. Currently, the most important factor which plays a significant role in determining the amount of Iran’s oil exports and consequently the outlook of the country’s oil revenues in 2019, is the impact of U.S. sanctions.

In May 2018, Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from an international deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and in November the sanctions were reimposed on the country’s oil sector.

Although shortly after the sanctions took effect, the U.S. government granted exemptions to eight countries - China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey, and South Korea - allowing them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil, but analysts believed that the possible changes in the U.S. policies toward Iran and the continuous slowdown in the global economy as a result of U.S.-China trade war could create a less promising outlook for Iran’s oil market throughout 2019.

However, recent geopolitical changes in the world envisions more tightening in the oil market which could be considered a good sign for Iranian oil industry.

In the last two weeks, a variety of boosting factors have come together to push the oil prices up to their highest in near six months.

Despite the Q1 in which fears about weakening global oil demand was envisioning a gloomy future for the market, it seems that the Q2 is starting off on the right foot. Several factors went hand in hand to make the traders believe that the market is not going to be that oversupplied after all, at least not in the near future.

The conflicts in Libya, Venezuela crisis, the disagreement between Saudi Arabia and its ally U.S. on oil prices and the petro dollar could be listed as some of the factors which are supporting the oil prices for the time being.

However, the mentioned factors all could be considered short-term impacts and to see if Iran will succeed in realizing its budget estimations of oil sales, one should only wait and see; though the $34b revenue seems quite reachable at the moment.

EF/MA

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